You’ve just bought a brand new pair of snowboard boots, now what?
How do you break them in? Do you even need to break them in?
Do You Need to Break in Snowboard Boots?
Whether you need to break in snowboard boots will depend on how they are made.
If they use heat molding, as is the case with most snowboard boots, you can get them molded in the store or just wear them and wait for them to gradually mold to your feet.
If not, it may take a little time and effort to achieve that perfect fit.
How to Break In Snowboard Boots
There are many things you can do to ensure your snowboard boots fit perfectly, including:
Use a Heat Mold
Heat molding is not always the best option and it won’t work with every pair of snowboard boots, but it should be considered.
A heat mold literally heats the liner up and then you stand inside and wait for the boots to mold to your feet.
You can do this at home, but if you buy your snowboard boots from a store, they should be happy to do it for you.
Your snowboard boots will gradually loosen and adapt to your foot shape as you ride. It may take some time, especially if the boots are very stiff, but you’ll get there eventually.
Walk in Them
Strap the boots on and go for a walk. The movement of your feet inside the boots will help to loosen the liner and stretch the fabric.
Walking for a few minutes won’t suffice, though. This technique is only really effective if you have an hour or more to kill.
You could try going for a walk around the block, or you could just wear your boots throughout the day. You’ll get some strange looks, but at least you’ll have a perfect-fitting pair of snowboard boots at the end of the day.
Change Your Socks
Are you wearing thick socks or thin socks? Will you be wearing the same socks when you eventually hit the slopes?
Socks can make all the difference when it comes to finding good snowboarding boots.
Thick socks will add a few extra millimeters and make those boots feel tighter.
Of course, you shouldn’t be wearing super thin socks on the slopes, but as you’re breaking your boots in, make sure you’re wearing your snowboard socks.
Strap into your bindings and simulate turns and twists. Move as if you are riding, even though you’re remaining stationary.
Try rocking forward onto your toes for 10+ seconds and then doing the same on your heels. Put your snowboard boots through the motions and they should gradually loosen.
How Long Does It Take To Break In Snowboard Boots?
It depends on the type of boots you’re wearing. Stiffer boots with higher quality liners will take longer to break in. You’ll also need to wait a little longer to break very tight boots compared to boots that already feel a little loose.
Assuming you’re walking in them often and riding a couple of days a week, your snowboarding boots should have a perfectly snug fit after a couple of weeks.
If you need a super-snug fit immediately, get your new snowboard boots heat molded.
Do Snowboard Boots Loosen Up?
Yes, just like new shoes and new boots, your snowboard boots will loosen up as you use them.
Initially, the materials are very stiff and rigid, not allowing for much movement. The more that you wear them, the softer the fabric becomes.
Eventually, all that movement and moisture will relax the fabrics and help the boots conform to your feet.
How Do I Stop My Snowboard Boots From Hurting?
If your boots feel very tight and are pinching your toes or heel, consider a heat molding treatment. As long as your boots use heat moldable liners, this should be an easy fix.
You could also just push through the pain and wait for the snowboard boots to mold to your feet, but this is not advised if you’re suffering from severe pain.
Are Snowboard Boots Supposed To Hurt?
A little nipping is okay and to be expected. A Band-Aid can help to stop friction burns in specific areas and thicker socks can provide all-round protection. But if the pain is affecting your movement and you can think of little else, take them to the retailer or manufacturer and see if they can help you.
How Should I Look After My Snowboarding Boots?
Once you have broken in your snowboard boots, you’ll want to keep them for as long as possible, lest you need to buy a new pair and follow those steps all over again.
There are a few simple steps to ensure your boots last through many rides:
- Dry them after every use. An air dry should suffice, just don’t dump them somewhere warm and moist. You can also use specific boot dryers for this process.
- Insert dryer sheets into each boot to prevent them from smelling and keep them fresh.
- Clean your boots when they get dirty. Use a little dish soap along with warm water and a sponge to lightly scrub them and remove all dirt and debris.
Summary: How to Break in Snowboard Boots
To summarize, there are a few ways you can break in your boots and ensure the perfect fit:
- Use a heat mold. Heat molding is often provided free of charge by retailers. Enquire about it when you purchase your boots.
- Walk in them. Spending a few hours walking in your new snowboard boots should help to stretch and loosen the fabric.
- Ride in them. Whether you’re riding on the slopes or simulating a ride in your backyard, those twists and turns will help to soften the boots and mold them to your feet.
Don’t forget to wear your snowboard socks when you’re following these techniques! If you wear thin socks when breaking in your boots, you may find that they fit too tightly when you eventually wear your thick winter socks.